A group of scientists working under the auspices of NASA have uncovered unexplained “pits” on the surface of the Moon. These “pits,” according to recent computer modeling, are at temperatures that are quite warm for the lunar surface. 63 degrees Fahrenheit.
To put it another way, given that temperatures on the lunar surface normally fluctuate from a searing 260 degrees Fahrenheit to a bone-chilling minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit, these craters would make for a great gathering spot for any future humans who might visit the moon.
The trenches have the potential to shield future residents from micrometeorite showers as well as the unrelenting radiation of the sun.
In addition, there is the enticing potential that the pits lead to more extensive cave complexes that were left behind by ancient lava flows. This is something that scientists have speculated for some time but have not been able to prove.
In a statement, Tyler Horvath, who is now pursuing his doctorate in planetary science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and who is also the primary author of a new research that was just published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, stated the following:
“About 16 of the more than 200 pits are probably collapsed lava tubes.”
Data that was acquired by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been collecting extensive measurements, including thermal photographs, of the lunar surface since 2009, was utilized by Horvath and his colleagues.
“Lunar pits are a fascinating feature on the lunar surface,” LRO scientist Noah Petro was quoted saying in the announcement. “Knowing that they create a stable thermal environment helps us paint a picture of these unique lunar features and the prospect of one day exploring them.”
Overhangs are a characteristic of at least some of these pits, according to the findings of scientists, and beyond those overhangs might lie lava tube caves.
If the hypothesis is correct, the caverns might provide future inhabitants with a comfortable place to live, while the pits could function as an accessible entry point.
The research hypothesizes that the fact that these pits are shielded from the sun makes it possible for them to maintain a temperature that is suitable for human habitation by retaining heat during the night and providing relief from excessive heat during the day.
In addition, the European Space Agency is investigating the possibility of sending remotely controlled vehicles or crewed missions to the Moon in order to discover the hidden depths of the lunar surface.
It provides a tempting picture of what it would be like to settle the Moon one day, since these trenches may be the greatest area to seek for a place to survive on the Moon. “Humans evolved living in caves, and to caves we might return when we live on the Moon,” David Paige, who was also involved in the research, stated.
Images Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
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